Lawyers for indicted former Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann accused Special Counsel John Durham of adding inflammatory accusations to a legal filing purely to ‘taint’ the jury pool and ‘inflame’ the media with claims that Clinton spied on Donald Trump, according to a court document filed on Tuesday.
The allegations have electrified Trump allies who claim them as proof that the former president was the victim of subterfuge in 2016.
Durham’s claim is not included in an indictment but instead offered as ‘factual background’ in a dispute over Sussmann’s choice of lawyers and whether they represented a conflict of interest.
‘Unfortunately, the Special Counsel has done more than simply file a document identifying potential conflicts of interest. Rather, the Special Counsel has again made a filing in this case that unnecessarily includes prejudicial—and false—allegations that are irrelevant to his Motion and to the charged offense, and are plainly intended to politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool,’ write four lawyers from Latham & Watkins in their response.
Michael Sussmann’s lawyers accuse special counsel John Durham of seeking to ‘inflame’ the media with his latest filing
They accuse Durham’s team of ‘misleadingly’ introducing information that Sussmann exploited domain name system (DNS) Internet traffic associated with Trump and the Executive Office of the President.
The motion says Durham is succeeded in the effort, and cites several news clips that came out since he made the filing Friday.
In a footnote the lawyers take on the notion that Sussmann was acting in concert with the Clinton campaign, saying the motion ‘conveniently overlooks’ the fact that Sussmann’s meeting with a government agency ‘happened well after the 2016 presidential election at a time when the Clinton Campaign had effectively ceased to exist.’
It also notes how former President Trump ‘seized’ upon the filing, and cites Trump statement that it ‘provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia.’
It accused Durham of other instances of ‘using inflammatory and prejudicial rhetoric’ against ‘uncharged conduct.’ Sussmann has been charged with lying to the FBI, and has pleaded not guilty. He has not been charged in any spying conspiracy.
‘These allegations were not included in the Indictment; these allegations post-date the single false statement that was charged in the Indictment; and these allegations were not necessary to identify any of the potential conflicts of interest with which the Motion is putatively concerned. Why then include them? The question answers itself,’ write the lawyers.
The government’s indictment of Sussmann says he told then-FBI general counsel James Baker he was not doing work ‘for any client’ when he brought forward information that purported to show a communications channel between the Trump Organization and Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank.
Lawyers for attorney Michael Sussmann blast special counsel John Durham for the ‘Factual Background’ section of his latest filing, saying it includes false and irrelevant allegations
The FBI looked into the matter and found there was nothing to it.
Durham, in his Feb. 11th filing, said Sussmann ‘ had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive (Tech Executive 1) at a U.S.-based internet company (Internet Company 1) and the Clinton campaign.”
The exec has since been identified as Rodney Joffe, and the second agency he went to after going to the FBI has been identified as the CIA.
‘To make this case a partisan affair and to inflame media coverage, the Special Counsel chose to include allegations that Mr. Sussmann was part of a wide-ranging scheme involving a number of uncharged parties including the Clinton Campaign, Law Firm-1, Campaign Lawyer-1, a U.S. Investigative Firm, Tech-Executive-1, and a number of computer data researchers who all worked together to unfairly influence the 2016 election, according to Sussmann’s lawyers.
The special counsel omitted statements ‘that showed the researchers agreed with the findings and otherwise operated in good faith.’
The lawyers want the special counsel to strike the ‘Factual Background’ portion and say Sussmann ‘reserves all rights to submit appropriate motions and seek appropriate relief.’
A Joffe spokesperson also pushed back at the Durham filing. ‘Contrary to the allegations in this recent filing, Mr. Joffe is an apolitical Internet security expert with decades of service to the U.S. Government who has never worked for a political party, and who legally provided access to DNS data obtained from a private client that separately was providing DNS services to the Executive Office of the President (EOP),’ the statement said.
Sussmann’s filing was signed by four lawyers, including Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth of Latham & Watkins.
Meanwhile, Clinton refused to answer questions about allegations that her allies spied on the Trump campaign as the controversy continued to engulf her Tuesday.
Exclusive pictures and video obtained by DailyMail.com show a stoney faced Clinton silently waving away repeated questions of whether she spied on Donald Trump.
She refused to say when or if she planned to comment. Clinton was arriving at her daughter Chelsea’s Manhattan apartment mid morning.
Wearing a blue coat and black pants, she looked strained behind her black face mask as she stoically ran the gauntlet of questions.
The former first lady and secretary of state is slated as the keynote speaker at Thursday’s New York state Democratic convention.
A short while later, a considerably more dolled-up Clinton was seen heading out to lunch with her daughter at Kusina Pinoy Bistro in Woodside, New York in the borough of Queens. A film crew was seen setting up inside the restaurant.
Chelsea also looked dressed up for the occasion in a long black puffer jacket, with a blood orange skirt peeking out underneath and black heels.
It comes after a Friday court filing by Special Counsel John Durham which alleged Clinton’s 2016 campaign paid a tech firm to infiltrate Trump Tower servers and later White House servers in a bid to establish a link between Trump and Russia.
Republicans are also calling for increased scrutiny on President Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan after the longtime Democratic operative’s links to Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation were revived in the wake of a bombshell new court filing.
Sullivan had been a top foreign policy adviser to Clinton’s campaign.
Clinton was stony-faced as she arrived in Manhattan on late Tuesday morning, as questions swell over recent allegations made by Special Counsel John Durham in his probe of the origins of the Russia investigation
Clinton waved off questions about the bombshell filing as she headed to her daughter Chelsea’s home
CThe former 2016 presidential candidate is the keynote speaker at New York state Democrats’ convention on Thursday
Durham’s court filing alleged that Clinton’s 2016 campaign hired a tech firm to infiltrate Trump servers in an effort to establish a connection between the former president and Russia
Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russian investigation moved closer to the White House late last year with a report that Sullivan was the ‘foreign policy adviser’ mentioned in the indictment of former Clinton presidential campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.
Sussmann was charged in September with allegedly lying to the FBI, and has pleaded not guilty.
Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana told DailyMail.com Sullivan should be removed from office if the allegations were proven to be true.
‘No one who has spied on the White House is fit to serve in the White House. Jake Sullivan is already a notorious partisan and if he participated in Clinton’s illicit spying on President Trump, he must be removed from office and held responsible,’ Banks said.
Clinton emerged from Chelsea’s home alongside her a short while later looking considerably more dolled-up
Chelsea Clinton was also seen dressed up in a black puffer coat, blood orange skirt and black heels
The mother and daughter pair were headed to lunch at Kusina Pinoy Bistro in Woodside, Queens where a film crew was setting up inside
A black truck with lighting was parked on the side street and crew members spotted going in with black shades. Secret Service had parked outside of the restaurant while they are inside filming
In a response to the most recent accusations filed by Durham, Sussmann’s legal team said Durham ‘seems to be succeeding in his effort to instigate unfair and prejudicial media coverage of Mr. Sussmann’s case.’
The lawyer slammed the special counsel’s allegations as ‘false.’
Without naming Sullivan, Rep. Mike Waltz of Florida told DailyMail.com it was ‘hard to believe’ such a high level of privacy invasion could have taken place without the Clinton campaign’s knowledge.
President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is the ‘foreign policy adviser’ mentioned in the indictment of a former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer, according to Fox News. There is no suggestion that Sullivan is a target of Special Council John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe
‘If these allegations prove true, I would find it hard to believe that there was potentially some type of collusion with a tech company that had access to servers and computers to spy on the Trump campaign – and potentially the White House – without authorization from top officials in the Clinton campaign,’ Waltz said.
When asked about the revelations on Monday, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly said she ‘can’t speak to’ Durham’s filing and referred questions to the Justice Department.
Amid outrage over the new spying allegations, a past tweet from Clinton has ignited a firestorm and renewed attention on Sullivan’s role in potentially pushing lies about then-candidate and later President Trump.
Clinton shared a statement from Sullivan, a top foreign policy adviser on her campaign, on October 31, 2016, just days before the presidential election. It was in response to an article in Slate covering a team of computer scientists who claimed to have discovered a link between Trump and Russia-based Alfa Bank.
‘This could be the most direct link yet between Trump and Moscow,’ Sullivan said. ‘Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.’
He added, ‘This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.’
Top Republicans are now questioning whether the Biden official with a heavy hand in US foreign policy knowingly promoted faulty information while hiding his boss’s link to it. The timing of the matter raises particular concerns about Sullivan’s role in the US response to the rapidly worsening crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
‘Jake Sullivan pushed the Russia hoax. He knew it was a lie. He now works in the Biden White House,’ Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio wrote on Twitter Monday.
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee accused Sullivan of a ‘conflict of interest’ in his current efforts trying to de-escalate with Moscow.
‘Jake Sullivan’s involvement in the Russia collusion hoax is a clear conflict of interest, and he should not be allowed to speak on behalf of the U.S. as Russia-Ukraine tensions heighten,’ Blackburn told DailyMail.com on Tuesday.
Trump (pictured golfing in West Palm on Friday) has also expressed outrage at the bombshell court filing, claiming what Clinton’s campaign did amounted to ‘treason’
Prominent Republicans came down hard on Sullivan and his former boss Hillary Clinton
She also said Sullivan ‘lied to the American people in hopes of winning an election.’
Conservative Political Action Conference chair Matt Schlapp demanded that Sullivan quit his role in the Biden administration.
‘With the revelations that Trump was indeed spied on during 2016 and deep into his presidency it is time for anyone complicit in this crime resign from the Biden Administration and be charged. Jake Sullivan must step down,’ Schlapp said.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said that if proven true, the Clinton campaign’s actions are ‘unacceptable.’
‘Court filings by Special Counsel Durham suggesting the Clinton campaign may have engaged in an orchestrated effort to infiltrate the Trump campaign are unacceptable and should not be swept under the rug,’ Graham said on Tuesday.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz called out the Clinton campaign as well as mainstream media outlets that have largely been ignoring the filing.
‘The corrupt corporate media breathlessly covered every contour of the Russia lies spread by Hillary & her cronies. Now it’s reported that Hillary’s team paid to hack the White House & Trump Tower, crickets! Zero coverage on NBC, ABC, & CBS morning shows. The silence is damning!’ Cruz said on Monday night.
Clinton lawyer Sussman’s 27-page indictment says he told then-FBI General Counsel James Baker that he was not working for a client when he asked for a meeting in which he offered evidence of what he claimed was a secret communication channel between Donald Trump and a Russian bank.
But the document goes on to allege in fact he was being paid by at least two clients – a U.S. technology executive and the Clinton presidential campaign.
‘On or about September 15 , 2016, Campaign Lawyer-1 exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign’s campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy adviser concerning the Russian Bank-1 allegations that SUSSMANN had recently shared with Reporter1,’ it says.
Blackburn questioned the White House’s silence on the matter after the daily briefing
The foreign policy adviser is Sullivan, 44, according to Fox News, which cited two well-placed sources.
In Durham’s filing on Friday, he revealed how Sussmann ‘had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive (Tech Executive 1), named as Rodney Joffe, at a U.S.-based internet company (Internet Company 1) and the Clinton campaign.’
The filing also reveals how Joffe worked with Sussmann at the instruction of the Clinton campaign to ‘assemble the purported data and white papers’ – essentially to gather information that would tie Trump to Russia.
Blackburn called the White House out over dodging questions on the matter Monday evening: ‘Why is the White House refusing to comment about Jake Sullivan’s role in fabricating evidence against President Trump?’
Sullivan has been a key figure in Democratic circles since 2008 when he was foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, before joining Barack Obama’s general election team.
From Bill Barr’s confirmation hearing to indictments and the crumbling of the Steele dossier: The timeline of Durham’s investigation leading up to bombshell Hillary claims
May 17, 2017 – Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel. Among other things, Mueller is directed to investigate ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with’ Trump’s presidential campaign.
January 15, 2019 – Bill Barr first alluded to what would become the Durham investigation in his Senate confirmation hearing. He promised then-Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham he would examine the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation against Donald Trump.
On March 22, 2019 – Mueller closed his special investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and submitted his final report to Barr.
March 24, 2019 – Attorney General Barr issued his summary of the report.
March 25, 2019 – Barr met with then-Connecticut Attorney General John Durham. Justice Department records show the two had 18 more meetings and three calls that year.
April 10, 2019 – Barr testified before a Senate Appropriations panel where he announced a review on ‘the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016.’
April 12, 2019 – A top Barr aide spoke with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to explain what appeared to be the start of Durham’s probe.
May 13, 2019 – It became public that Barr tapped Durham to probe issues related to the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
May 23, 2019 – Trump said Barr asked him to direct intelligence officials to cooperate with the probe into surveillance during the 2016 election.’ Trump authorized Barr to declassify and downgrade information related to the probe.
July 25, 2019 – Trump held his infamous phone call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, revealing Trump may have referred to the Durham probe when he asked Kyiv for help and insisted Zelensky speak with Barr and Rudy Giuliani.
October 19, 2019 – Two articles came out indicating Durham interviewed two dozen FBI officials.
October 24, 2019 – The New York Times broke the news that the Durham inquiry was now a criminal investigation.
December 2019 – Durham was revealed to be examining the role of the Obama-era CIA director John Brennan in how the intelligence community assessed Russia’s 2016 election interference.
April 2020 – Durham’s probe proceeded despite the pandemic.
April 10, 2020 – Barr said Durham’s ‘primary focus… is looking to bring to justice people who are engaged in abuses if he can show that they were criminal violations.’
April 24, 2020 – Probe shifted to looking at leaks within the Trump administration that prompted chaos in his early years.
May 18, 2020 – Barr said during a press conference that neither Obama nor Biden was the focus of Durham’s criminal probe.
September 2021 – Durham issued new set of subpoenas, including to a law firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
September 17, 2021 – Cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann pleaded not guilty in federal court. He was indicted for lying to the FBI in a 2016 meeting where he shared information related to ties between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank. He said he wasn’t working for a client but was hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
November 2021 – Durham charged Russian-born analyst Igor Danchenko with lying to the FBI in fabricating a sources for the Steele dossier. He pleaded not guilty to five counts of making false statements to a federal agent.
February 11, 2022 – Durham filing reveals Clinton paid tp have Trump Tower and White House servers hacked to ‘fabricate’ ties between Trump and Russia.
February 2022 – Trump-era Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe reveals Durham thinks there is ‘enough evidence’ to indict ‘several more people.’ He also said Obama and Biden were briefed on the Clinton revelations in 2016.
Special Counsel John Durham (l) is investigating the origins of the Russia probe. Michael Sussman was indicted in September. He denies lying to the FBI
The Durham investigation appears to have entered a critical phase. A grand jury indictment was returned last week for Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst accused of being a key source in the Steele dossier.
He is charged with five counts of making false statements to the FBI.
When Clinton became Secretary of State, Sullivan joined as her deputy chief of staff, before becoming Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser in 2013.
There is no suggestion that Sullivan is a target of Durham’s investigation, only that he received information from Sussmann.
Trump has long denied any illegal conspiracy with Russia in his 2016 campaign, insisting that the allegations were trumped up by his political enemies. Likewise, Democrats claim that Durham’s probe is a political hatchet job.
Former President Donald Trump this week praised Durham’s work, claiming ‘it all leads back to the Democrats, Hillary [Clinton] and the dirty lawyers’ during an interview with Fox News
Durham was appointed as special counsel by Trump administration Attorney General Bill Barr in October 2020, and tasked with investigating whether the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe, code-named ‘Crossfire Hurricane,’ was opened and conducted legally.
The first criminal charges in Durham’s probe were against Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI attorney assigned to the Robert Mueller probe, who altered an email during the process of acquiring a wiretap warrant renewal on Page.
Igor Danchenko was arrested last week by US federal agents
Clinesmith pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation.
Last week, a key source who provided information to British ex-spy Christopher Steele for his ‘dirty dossier’ of allegations against Donald Trump was been arrested in the US.
Igor Y. Danchenko, a Russian-born analyst living in the United States, was arrested on Thursday in Virginia by federal agents assigned to Durham’s investigation, according to the Justice Department.
He is charged with five counts of lying to FBI agents about the sources he used in collecting information for Steele, who is identified in the indictment only as ‘UK Person-1’.
Danchenko, 43, was the primary researcher for Steele’s dossier alleging that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia in a covert operation to beat Hillary Clinton, and that Russia had salacious videos that could be used to blackmail Trump.
Trump himself has praised Durahm’s effort multiple times.
The former president, 75, predicted that Durham’s investigation, which he was first assigned to in April 2019, will show that ‘it all leads back to the Democrats, Hillary [Clinton] and the dirty lawyers.’
‘It really has come out,’ Trump said to Fox after Durham produced his second of two indictments. ‘In all fairness, while it has taken a long time, hats off to John Durham.’
‘Hats off, because, it’s coming out, and it is coming out at a level – Durham has come out with things that are absolutely amazing.’
The Steele dossier ‘source’, an attorney linked to Hillary and a lawyer in Mueller’s probe: The accusations in Durham’s investigation
A recently revealed filing from Special Counsel John Durham alleged Hillary Clinton paid a lawyer to infiltrate Trump Tower and White House servers in the 2016 campaign and after. It claims she was seeking to fabricate a link between Trump and Russia’ Alfa Bank to distract from her email scandal at the time.
The 43-year-old Russian-born analyst was arrested in November 2021 in Virginia by federal agents assigned to Durham’s special counsel and charged with five counts of lying to FBI agents about the sources he used in collecting information for Michael Steele, who is identified in the indictment only as ‘UK Person-1’.
Danchenko was the primary researcher for Steele’s opposition research dossier alleging that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia in a covert operation to beat Clinton. He also informed Steele that Russia had the infamous ‘golden showers’ tape that could be used to blackmail Trump.
In September 2021, Durham indicted the cybersecurity lawyer, accusing him of lying to the FBI during a September 2016 conversation when relaying concerns about potentially suspicious cyber contacts between a Trump Organization server and the server of a Russian bank.
When bringing the concerns to then-FBI general counsel James Baker, the indictment alleged that Sussmann lied and said he was not representing a client when he was actually hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign
Sussmann has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have claimed the case is driven by politics.
The first criminal charges in Durham’s probe were against Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI attorney assigned to the Robert Mueller probe.
Clinesmith, 38, pleaded guilty to altering an email during the process of acquiring a wiretap warrant renewal on former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
He was sentenced to probation.
The Obama-era CIA Director was questioned by Durham’s team for eight hours in August 2020 as part of the ongoing investigation. Specifically the special counsel was interested in whether Brennan pushed for a more blunt assessment of Russia’s motivations
Trump-era Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Monday that Brennan did brief then President Barack Obama and Vice President at the time Joe Biden in 2016 about the allegations Clinton was trying to ‘fabricate’ a link between Trump and Russia.
While a ‘key player’ in the Durham investigation, Rodney Joffe is not officially indicted or accused of any wrongdoing as of yet. He is, however, referred to as ‘Tech Executive-1’ in Sussmann’s indictment for allegedly lying to the FBI by withholding his connections to Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
The indictment for Sussmann notes that Joffe ‘retained Sussman as his lawyer’ in February 2015 in connection with an unspecified ‘matter involving an agency of the US government.’